Online Doctorate in Health Science and Exercise Leadership (D.H.Sc. Degree)

Home  >  
Health Science and Exercise Leadership

Position yourself as a leaders in exercise, fitness and wellness

The post-professional D.H.Sc. degree addresses the impact of an aging population and the societal shift from treating disease to promoting wellness and health.

Step to the forefront of promoting health and wellness in our society with PennWest’s online Doctorate in Health Science and Leadership degree. Our post-professional D.H.Sc. degree addresses the impact of an aging population and the societal shift from treating disease to promoting wellness and health.

The 48-credit terminal degree includes courses in health science, adult learning and leadership as well as the construction of an evidence-based research portfolio. The portfolio will create a community of practice through the integration of emerging professional trends in health science, exercise science, and wellness and fitness. It will focus on problem-solving and the implementation of solutions that relate to day-to-day professional practice.

Upon completion of the program, you will be positioned as a leader in exercise, fitness and wellness. Among other skills, you will be qualified to research and use evidence-based resources to solve problems and enact change in the fields of health science, exercise science, and wellness and fitness.

View courses

Other Exercise Science Resources

Exercise Science Careers

Top 10 Reasons to Get a Master's in Exercise Science Degree

Exercise Science Certificates

What is Exercise Science?

1.1 million

Number of new jobs that will be created in the field of exercise science by 2022.

3 years

Average time to complete the D.H.Sc. degree.


Online, so you can continue to work as a health science professional while you earn your degree.

Fast Facts


The first academic partner of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.




100% online


Graduate Admissions

Start Terms:


Careers and Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, exercise science and health care will produce top jobs at above-average pay rates through 2022. D.H.Sc. degree graduates are trained for a range of career positions with employers in Pennsylvania and nationwide, including:

  • Educators in health, exercise and wellness
  • Advanced clinical practitioners
  • Administrators and managers of health-related enterprises
  • Advanced professional or technical positions in health care

Graduate Outcomes

  1. Synthesize adult learning theories into a working framework of instruction
  2. Use leadership skills and abilities to bridge theory and practice, creating and executing a service-learning project
  3. Compile and synthesize original research to solve contemporary health, exercise, wellness and fitness problems
  4. Develop proficiency in assembling, synthesizing and delivering information and knowledge using technology, media and other information services

Admissions Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements for the DHSc Program

  • Official undergraduate transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university. Please provide the official transcripts for each of the undergraduate institutions attended.
  • Overall minimum graduate (master’s or doctorate) cumulative GPA of 3.50 on a 4.00 scale verified with official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Evidence of a licensed or credentialed allied health care provider; health, wellness or exercise professional, or two years of recent experience as a practitioner, administrator, educator, clinician, or researcher in health, wellness or exercise discipline. If your MS is not aligned with the allied health, health, wellness, or fitness please contact the program coordinator to determine if you fit the minimum requirements to apply to the program.  
  • Two (2) professional letters of recommendation are required.  The letters must be less than one calendar year old; must be on letterhead; signed in ink or signed with a verified digital signature. For these letters to be sufficient for review, they must be sent to Graduate Admissions directly from your recommenders. Please have your recommenders email their letters directly to    
  • If an applicant has any questions about the two letters of recommendation, please contact the DHSc program coordinator, Marc Federico,
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae including personal, educational, and professional achievements.  
  • Submission of a personal statement that will be assessed by utilizing a standardized programmatic rubric to determine writing ability and skill at the doctoral level.
  • Some suggested additional materials to include to your application packet, which may strengthen your application, includes evidence of a Master’s Thesis; and/or a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal publication; and/or a professional presentation in your field.  Please contact the program coordinator if there are any questions about the accepted type of evidence (

2025 Deadlines:

Priority application deadline for fall admission is March 15th; faculty will continue to review applications until all seats are full.

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.
Request Info
Apply Now